Thursday, 6 October 2011


Thinking ahead for Samhainn I've been out in the garden doing what I can to bring in the last of the fruit and veg. In spite of the warmer weather recently it's also been very wet and the larger of the onions have succumbed to the damp and slugs - I was going to pick them last week, but alas, my back didn't allow for that. The remaining carrots and the spring onions have fared a little better, though:

As well as a leek, there. The rest of the leeks could do with a bit longer and should be fine with the colder weather due soon anyway, so I've left those. Of the purple carrots I left in after the first batch of carrots I had for Lùnastal, only one turned out properly purple. Another appeared to be having a slight identity crisis, but the rest just gave up and decided on orange:

They were quite small still, but I figured they probably weren't going to do much else and I might as well pull them.

In honour of the latest haul I decided to put the larger onions to good use and make some stovies, a good stodgy winter dish that's a staple of the Scottish diet, that consists of only three basic ingredients - minced beef, onion, and potato:

Now, yes. Admittedly cat food may look more appetising than this but it's the taste that counts, right? I like lots of black pepper in mine, whereas my husband and the kids like to give theirs a kick with some HP Sauce. I've only ever used beef for them, but mutton is more traditional - harder to get hold of these days, too, though.

I made Brodick bannocks to go with them (I'm finally getting the hang of making them flatter, like they should be - though I think using wholemeal flour helps), to soak up the dregs, and boiled up the carrots. Et voila. Good wintry stodge. I've yet to decide on what I'll be doing for our Samhainn meal, but stovies are always good option, I think.

Now the kids are older and can get a bit more involved in the festivities I'm really looking forward to Samhainn this year. And so are they. The school has a fancy dress parade so they'll be spending the day in costume, and then once they get home it will be time for some fun and games before the guisers start knocking. I'd better start experimenting with the treacle bannocks...